Friday, February 22, 2013

Nha Trang Cake

Almost every year, I go back to my hometown, Nhatrang for Tet (Lunar New Year) for at least a week to meet old friends, family and also to eat and relax. This year was a bit different compared to the last couple years because I had to work in between. It was very interesting wandering around with my clients and proudly talking about my hometown's amazing food. And for sure, I showed my clients all of my favorite places. Now they have some of my secrets.

Banh Can - Nha Trang
One of my favorite dishes is called Banh Can. I ate it many times during my 2 week holidays for both breakfast and dinner. I love the way they cook the cake with either egg or seafood or mixed together. There are a number of people who don't really like this dish very much but I think its kind of unique. The rice flour batter is poured into little clay cups over a hot brazier, a quail egg is broken onto the top, sometimes a whisked chicken egg. Also I have enjoyed the cake with squid or shrimp steamed on it for a little while. The dipping sauce can be a challenge for some people; but I love "Mam Nem" a fermented fish sauce with a milder flavor than "Mam Tom". Added to the sauce is shredded green mango, stir fried spring onion, chilli and minced pork balls are served on the side. I love the rich and spicy taste of the dipping sauce and the smokiness of the grilled cake in my mouth. It creates a great flavor combination. This dish is not available in Hanoi. Perhaps that's a good thing as I would probably eat far too much of it.